US firm keen on bio-technology project in Sarawak


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 31 May 2003

BY STEPHEN THEN

MIRI: An American company has expressed interest to undertake a bio-technology project in Sarawak with a view to manufacture medicinal products from the state’s huge resources of herbs and plants. 

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said he had a meeting with representatives of the company three days ago and that they had expressed interest in starting the project once a deal had been reached. 

“This company is based in San Diego. They (management of this company) are interested in setting up a bio-technology farm in Sarawak. 

“Sarawak has been identified as one of the satellite states with the potential to set up a bio-valley. 

“Discussions are still at a preliminary stage. We (state government) want Curtin University of Technology Sarawak campus to be involved in this project,” he told a press conference here yesterday. 

Dr Chan, who is State Finance, Public Utilities and Industrial Development Minister, said this after accompanying Western Australia Premier Dr Geoff Gallop on a tour of the Curtin campus here. 

To a question, Dr Chan said the proposed project with the American company would have to be managed by the state government. 

“We are trying to get financial help to promote this sort of researches in the state. 

“Sarawak has about one million hectares of virgin jungle. There is a lot of raw materials that will be useful for bio-researchers,” he said. 

He, however, declined to reveal the identity of the American company now or the types of medicinal products that could be manufactured here. 

Dr Gallop, who was on an official visit to Sarawak, said he was impressed with the academic courses and type of research projects currently being carried out at Curtin Sarawak. 

“Western Australia and Sarawak have a long history of co-operation in agriculture, trade and industry and education.  

“We can look at new areas for more joint-ventures, especially in research development,” he said.  

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